Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 1
Alphabetical List of Contents
Accreditation Information 2
After Hours Access 24
Bulletin Boards 24
Certificate Programs 23
Change of Address/phone number 13
Course Fees 9-11
Course Packets 20
Equipment Access—In House 26-27
Equipment Access—Out of House 26
Faculty Mailboxes 24
Film/Video paths in the new curriculum 5
Financial Aid 28
Frequently Asked Questions 3-4
General Information 2
Grievances /Student Conduct Policies 16-18
Handicap Accessibility 2
Interim Equipment Access 27
Locker rental 27
Privacy Statement 13-14
Registration procedures 6-9
Schedule Changes 11-12
Snow Closings 19
Student Records 16
Telephone numbers Pittsburgh Filmmakers 2
Veterans Administration 12
Vocational Rehabilitation Office 12
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 2
PITTSBURGH FILMMAKERS STUDENT HANDBOOK
Pittsburgh Filmmakers is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in
1971 as an equipment access center for independent media artists. Now one
of the nation’s leading media arts centers, Pittsburgh Filmmakers offers one
of the most complete professional and artistic training programs in the media
and photographic arts in the United States. Students receive professional
training as well as opportunities to share in a broad range of experience
through seminars, workshops, internship programs, screenings and
exhibitions. Classes may be taken for credit under the auspices of local
colleges and universities (see REGISTRATION) as well as directly through
Pittsburgh Filmmakers. All classes are open to the public.
Prospective students should have a high school diploma or GED; high
school seniors may petition for admittance (contact the Registrar for details).
Most classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers meet weekly for fourteen weeks.
Each full-semester class meeting is 3 hours long, for a total of 42 clock
hours, equivalent to 3 college credits. Check the current class schedule for
the number of credits, meeting date and time for the class you are interested
in. You may also check the current class schedule, available in hard copy as
well as on our website, for semester beginning and end dates and holidays.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers classes are taught at our building at 477 Melwood
Avenue, in North Oakland. This three-story building includes all Seminar
Rooms, equipment rooms, editing suites, digital labs, and photo darkrooms,
as well as a small café, lounge and vending area for students and staff, two
photography galleries, two screening rooms, and a small studio. The
building is handicap-accessible, with the exception of three Seminar Rooms
on the Mezzanine level.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Telephone Numbers
Administration: 412-681-5449 Fax: 412-681-5503
Equipment Office: 412-681-9500 Pay phone first floor: 412-682-9256
Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ School of Film, Photography and Digital Media is an accredited institutional member of the
National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, Virginia, 20190,
telephone (703) 437-0700.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 3
Frequently Asked Questions
1: Q: What Programs does Pittsburgh Filmmakers offer?
A: Our curriculum consists of over 75 courses in the media arts. The major areas of
study are our Certificate Programs: Film Production, Photography, and Digital
Video. Both film and video programs include digital post-production;
photography teaches both traditional and digital techniques.
2. Q: What is required to apply for admission to Pittsburgh Filmmakers?
A: The only requirement for entry level classes is a high school diploma or GED. A
high school senior may petition for admittance (please contact the Registrar for
3. Q: How many and how long are the semesters?
A: There are three semesters per year. Fall and Winter/Spring semesters run for 14
weeks, September to December and January to April; Summer semesters run for
12 weeks overall with some shorter intensive sessions.
4. Q: How long will it take to complete a Certificate Program?
A: A Certificate Program will take a minimum of six semesters to complete,
depending on a student’s available time and resources. Completion of each
Program requires a minimum of 12 courses, but there are no time constraints or
minimum number of courses to be taken in any one semester. A student may take
classes at his/her own pace.
5. Q: What is an “independent” student?
A: An independent student is any student who registers for classes directly with
Pittsburgh Filmmakers and either pays his/her own tuition and fees or is paid for
by an approved third party (please contact the Registrar for details).
6. Q: Is tuition all I have to pay?
A: There are also course fees attached to the majority of courses to cover in-class
equipment use, materials, chemicals, facilities and rentals. In addition, a student
must be prepared to pay for textbooks and other materials and processing charges
not covered by course fees.
Please note that tuition and course fees are subject to change.
7. Q: Is financial aid available? Are scholarships offered?
A: Pittsburgh Filmmakers does not participate in Title IV financial aid programs. A
limited number of scholarships are available; please see our website or contact
8. Q: Is housing available?
A: Independent students must research local areas for housing possibilities. We can
supply a list of realtors and management companies.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 4
9. Q: Does Pittsburgh Filmmakers have a job placement program?
A: No, however, the curriculum includes internships that may be taken by advanced
students either for credit through their home school or on a non-credit basis.
Internships are valuable both in terms of gaining experience and in making
contacts in the local arts community. (For specific information, please contact
Will Zavala, Internship Coordinator.)
We also post artist opportunities on our bulletin board.
10. Q: Does a Certificate Program have to be taken for college credit?
A: No, these Programs may be taken on either a non-credit or credit transcript basis;
most students opt for non-credit.
11. Q: What is the difference between taking a course non-credit or on a credit transcript
A: There is no difference in the content of the course whether taken for college credit
or on a non-credit basis. Courses taken on a non-credit basis are not acceptable for
transfer to a post-secondary institution. (A student may decide to change the
status of his/her courses from non-credit to credit at a later date by paying
12. Q: Does Pittsburgh Filmmakers grant degrees?
A: No, we are not a degree-granting institution. The courses taught at Pittsburgh
Filmmakers may be applied toward a degree if the student is registered in a
participating college or university program, or, if taken on a credit transcript
basis, as transfer credit to a non-participating school. (Local universities
participating with Pittsburgh Filmmakers include: University of Pittsburgh,
Carnegie Mellon University, Point Park University, La Roche College, Duquesne
University, Robert Morris University, Carlow University, and Seton Hill
13. Q: What is Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ tuition rate for transferable college credit?
A: The cost is currently $970.00 for a 3 credit /42 classroom-hour course.
14. Q: How do I register for classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers if I am enrolled at a nearby
A: A student attending a participating institution (see question #12) registers for
classes at their home school. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with
the appropriate personnel at their school to assure proper registration – please
contact Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Registrar to obtain contact information for your
15. Q: May foreign students take classes?
A: Students who reside outside the United States may study at Pittsburgh
Filmmakers; however, we are not able to assist such students in acquiring a
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 5
PATHS FOR FILM & DIGITAL VIDEO IN THE NEW CURRICULUM
MOTION PICTURE FUNDAMENTALS
All Film & Digital Video students take this course first.
FILM PRODUCTION I OR VIDEO PRODUCTION I
Students in the film track shoot 16mm film and have the option in editing to
either cut film or edit digitally. Students in the video track shoot and edit
Students in either track must take ONE of the following courses before
moving on to the second production course: Intro to Screenwriting; Sound
for Film & Video; Producing for Film & Video; Lighting for Film & Video;
Technical Directing; Digital Non-Linear Editing.
FILM PRODUCTION II OR VIDEO PRODUCTION II
These are advanced production courses. Students in either track may cross
over and take either Film Production II or Video Production II after
completing this course in their respective track.
CINEMATOGRAPHY OR ELECTRONIC
Students who intend to shoot their thesis work on film take Cinematography,
while students who intend to shoot their thesis work on digital video take
FILM THESIS I / VIDEO THESIS I
Students from both tracks meet together and work together. Film-track
students shoot film while video-track students shoot digital video. All
students write scripts, do pre-production and begin shooting in this course.
FILM THESIS II / VIDEO THESIS II
Students finish the work begun in the first half of this two-course thesis.
They finish shooting and do all post-production, culminating in an
exhibition quality film or video. Film projects may be finished on
film, digital video or DVD. Finished work is exhibited at a public
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 6
PLEASE NOTE: Students who register for advanced classes must have
received a grade of “C” or better in prerequisite courses. If you wish to
register for an intermediate or advanced level course and you have not taken
the prerequisite course at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, you must obtain a Waiver
of Prerequisite Course form from the Registrar. In cases where the
prerequisite information for the course allows “permission,” a full-time
faculty member may assess a student’s ability to enter the class and will sign
the waiver form. In these cases the signature of the course instructor is not
needed. If the prerequisite information for the course allows “permission of
the instructor”, you should speak with the course instructor directly (the
instructor’s phone number/email address may be obtained from the
Registrar). The instructor must fill in the reason for allowing the waiver, and
must sign and date the form. The completed form must be turned in to the
Registrar with the registration form and payment.
Independent (non-credit students)
Registration for classes and workshops may be completed by paying tuition
and fees in person at Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Administrative offices (477
Melwood Ave. in Oakland) or by mailing payment to the Registrar,
Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
Registrations may be placed by telephone or fax or online with a credit card
number, expiration date, and cardholder name. Roster space is reserved only
for students who have paid their tuition and fees in full. Payment must be
made in full at the time of registration. Early non-credit registrants receive a
significant discount (see “Tuition”). We recommend that you register early,
since many course sections fill rapidly.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ courses may be used for ACT 48 continuing
education hours (contact Registrar for details; check appropriate box on
registration form and supply your Social Security number or teacher ID
Independent (credit transcript students)
Students may receive transferable college-level credit by paying the credit
transcript tuition rate as listed in the current semester class brochure. There
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 7
is no discount on this type of tuition. Please check the “credit transcript” box
on the registration form in the brochure. We recommend that you contact the
receiving school in advance, as each institution makes its own decisions
about transfer credits.
A student may choose to upgrade from non-credit to credit transcript status by paying the
additional tuition. After the course has met for the first time, there will be an additional
fee of $35 per credit to make this change. If a student chooses at some future date to
upgrade from non-credit to credit transcript status, the student will be billed the
difference between the non-credit tuition paid and the current credit transcript rate (at the
time the change is made) plus $35 per credit.
Point Park University
All Pittsburgh Filmmakers courses are available to students of Point Park
University. Registrations for PF courses are handled by the Conservatory of
Performing Arts, the School of Communication, or Arts & Sciences. Once
approval is granted by one of those departments, the student would continue
their registration process either online or at the Registrar’s Office at PPU.
University of Pittsburgh/College of Arts and Sciences
A&S Undergraduate students are required to place their names on a sign-up
sheet at the English/Film Studies office one week before the official pre-
registration period. This will reserve a space in an approved Pittsburgh
Filmmakers class. Once the pre-registration period has begun, students
whose names are on the list must return to the English/Film Studies office to
complete necessary forms and receive a permission code. Enrollment is
limited each semester. Students who do not pre-register in time to receive
one of the reserved spaces may register for a Pittsburgh Filmmakers class as
an Independent, non-credit student, but the University of Pittsburgh will not
accept the class for credit.
University of Pittsburgh/College of General Studies
Media and Professional Communications majors, and Certificate students
specializing in Digital Media, begin their registration process with their
advisor in the CGS office. Enrollment is limited each semester.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 8
Carnegie Mellon University
CMU students must register for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes at the
College of Fine Arts’ Dean’s office. For Summer semesters, CMU students
register as Independent credit transcript students directly with Pittsburgh
Filmmakers. At the end of the semester, students must fill out a Transcript
Request Form to have an official transcript sent to CMU for the transfer of
credit. There is a $3.00 charge for each official transcript.
La Roche College
La Roche students may register for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes at the
Office of the Registrar at La Roche.
Carlow University students may register for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes
at the Office of the Registrar at Carlow.
Duquesne University English majors with a Film Studies concentration
register through that department (see Judy Suh).
Other Duquesne University students may pre-register for Pittsburgh
Filmmakers’ classes through the Advising Office of the McAnulty College
of Liberal Arts (see Janet Sculimbrene). Two forms are to be completed: a
Duquesne form, “Application for Approval of Study with Pittsburgh
Filmmakers,” and a Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Self-pay registration form.
Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University students may register for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’
classes at the Robert Morris Registrar’s Office.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 9
Seton Hill University
Seton Hill University students may register for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’
classes at the Seton Hill Registrar’s Office.
For Summer semesters, Seton Hill students register as Independent credit
transcript students directly with Pittsburgh Filmmakers. At the end of the
semester, students must fill out a Transcript Request Form to have an official
transcript sent to Seton Hill for the transfer of credit. There is a $3.00 charge
for each official transcript.
Tuition and course fees are listed in the Class Schedule for each semester.
Total tuition and fees are payable directly to Pittsburgh Filmmakers at the
time of registration in order to reserve space in the classes. Each semester
there is a "discount deadline" for Independent non-credit students -- if
registration is completed prior to this date, the student receives a substantial
discount on tuition. There is no early payment discount on credit transcript
tuition. Please see our website for additional tuition discounts for
members. Certificate Program students pay a flat tuition rate; no
additional fees or discounts apply.
A student may elect to earn transferable college credit retroactively (only for
classes taken beginning with the Winter/Spring 2000 semester). This may be
accomplished by paying additional tuition at the then-current credit
transcript tuition rate, plus a processing fee -- currently $35 per credit. This
fee applies to any changes from non-credit to credit transcript status made
after the first class meeting of any semester.
Point Park University
Tuition and course fees for Pittsburgh Filmmakers classes are included in the
Point Park University tuition.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 10
University of Pittsburgh
Tuition for CAS or CGS Media and Professional Communications students
is included in the University of Pittsburgh tuition fee. Course fees must be
paid directly to Pittsburgh Filmmakers, on or before the due date as listed in
the University of Pittsburgh course description booklet and also on the
special registration form for Pittsburgh Filmmakers classes. Failure to pay
course fees by the due date will result in an additional late fee. Only
students who have paid their tuition and course fees in full will be able to
access Pittsburgh Filmmakers equipment and facilities. Students who
register late, after the listed course fee due date, are required to pay the
course fee within one week.
Carnegie Mellon University
Tuition for CMU students is included in CMU’s tuition except for Summer
semesters when CMU students must register on an Independent credit
transcript basis. Course fees must be paid directly to Pittsburgh Filmmakers
on or before the due date as listed on the special registration form for
Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes. Failure to pay course fees by the due date
will result in an additional late fee. Only students who have paid their
tuition and course fees in full will be able to access Pittsburgh Filmmakers’
equipment and facilities. Students who register late, after the listed course
fee due date, will be required to pay the course fee within one week.
La Roche College
Tuition and course fees for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes are included in
the La Roche tuition fee.
Tuition for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes is included in the Carlow
University tuition. Course fees are payable directly to Pittsburgh
Filmmakers on or before the due date listed on the special registration form.
Failure to pay course fees by the due date will result in an additional late
fee. Only students who have paid their tuition and course fees in full will be
able to access Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ equipment and facilities. Students
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 11
who register late, after the listed course fee due date, are required to pay the
course fee within one week.
Robert Morris University
Tuition for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes is included in the Robert Morris
University tuition. Course fees are payable directly to Pittsburgh
Filmmakers on or before the due date listed. Failure to pay course fees by
the due date will result in an additional late fee. Only students who have
paid their tuition and course fees in full will be able to access Pittsburgh
Filmmakers’ equipment and facilities. Students who register late, after the
listed course fee due date, are required to pay the course fee within one
Seton Hill University
Tuition for Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ classes is included in the Seton Hill
University tuition, except for Summer semesters when SH students must
register on an Independent credit transcript basis. Course fees are payable
directly to Pittsburgh Filmmakers on or before the due date listed. Failure to
pay course fees by the due date will result in an additional late fee. Only
students who have paid their tuition and course fees in full will be able to
access Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ equipment and facilities. Students who
register late, after the listed course fee due date, are required to pay the
course fee within one week.
DROPS, WITHDRAWALS AND SCHEDULE CHANGES
Non-credit students may drop a course following the guideline as listed in
this handbook. Refunds would be given according to the standard policy (see
REFUNDS). Providing that there is space available, students may also elect
to switch sections of a particular course or change courses altogether by
speaking with the Registrar. This must be done before the desired course
has met for the second time. A student may request a “W” grade
(“Withdrawal”) from his or her instructor at any time during the semester
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 12
Credit transcript students may withdraw as above up to the seventh week of
classes (sixth week during 12 week Summer semesters). From that point
until the end of the semester, the student must obtain an official Withdrawal
Form from the Registrar, and get their instructor’s permission and signature
in order to be issued a “W” grade.
Students registered through a college may drop or withdraw from a course or
make schedule changes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers by first notifying the
Registrar at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and then following the proper
withdrawal or add/drop procedure at their school. Permission and forms
should be obtained from the department in which the student registered.
Schedule changes will be permitted before the second meeting of the
desired course, if there is available space.
THIRD PARTY BILLING
Pittsburgh Filmmakers works in conjunction with the State Office of
Vocational Rehabilitation, and is approved for the G.I. Bill. If a student is
interested in seeking funding for tuition through one of these services, he or
she should contact a counselor at one of these offices.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers will also accept payment from a student’s employer.
The student must contact his or her employer several weeks before the
beginning of the semester to find out if the company is willing to subsidize
tuition and fees to Pittsburgh Filmmakers. We will reserve space in class
and bill the company provided that the employer sends Pittsburgh
Filmmakers a letter stating that the company will pay for the tuition and
course fees. The letter must be on company letterhead stating the student’s
name, address, phone number, social security number, the name of the
company contact person and the address to which the invoice should be sent.
These invoices must be paid in a timely manner in order for us to continue to
reserve a seat in the class.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 13
College (non-Independent) Students
College students who are responsible for paying course fees directly to
Pittsburgh Filmmakers are eligible for a full refund of course fees only if the
student notifies the Registrar at Pittsburgh Filmmakers of intent to drop
within 24 hours of the first class meeting. Do not rely on your school to
notify Pittsburgh Filmmakers of any changes you have made there.
Students who pay course fees directly to a college or university must follow
that school’s policy on refunds.
Independent Students (non-credit and credit transcript)
Once payment has been made and a space reserved in a class, 20% of the
total fee is completely non-refundable. 80% of the total fee (tuition plus
course fee) is refundable until the class has had its first scheduled meeting.
After the first class meeting but before the second class meeting, 60% of the
total fee is refundable. No refunds will be made after the second scheduled
meeting of any class. Tuition and course fees, in whole or in part, are not
transferable to future terms under any circumstances.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS, ETC.
Please be sure to notify the Registrar's office of any change in home address,
email address or phone number. This will ensure timely correspondence
regarding class meeting cancellations, grade reporting, special workshops,
Pittsburgh Filmmakers does not release private information to anyone
without permission. We do share contact information (snail mail and
electronic mail addresses) internally for purposes of bulk mailings, event
announcements, and other items we consider of interest to our students and
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 14
faculty. We do not sell our mailing list, but we may share with other non-
profit arts organizations. See also STUDENT RECORDS.
IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE ON ONE OR BOTH OF THE ABOVE-
MENTIONED LISTS, PLEASE CONTACT THE REGISTRAR.
We also photograph students in classrooms and around the facilities for use
in our class schedules. Please inform the photographer if you do not wish
your image to be used.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism in any
form, including: direct copying of (un-credited) writing from other sources
such as books, magazines, the Internet; use of other people’s media work
without identifying it as such; use of assignments produced for other classes
without the permission of the current instructor. Consequences of cheating
or plagiarism will be: first offense -- failure/grade of zero on the exam or
assignment; second offense -- failure of the course.
All students, including students taking classes on a non-credit basis, will be
assigned an official letter grade as follows:
A excellent work
B good work
C fair work
D poor work
F extremely poor work
I Incomplete (see Incomplete Policy)
W Withdrawal (see Withdrawal Policy)
Each instructor’s syllabus will address his or her policies regarding how
attendance (classes, labs and T.A. sessions as applicable) affects grading –
be sure to read your copy of the syllabus. Instructors may also assign a plus
or a minus following the letter grade, which will remain on Pittsburgh
Filmmakers’ records and will be taken into account when considering
eligibility for a Certificate or advancement into upper-level classes.
Students who register for advanced classes must have received a grade
of “C” or better in prerequisite courses.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 15
Grades for Independent credit transcript students will be issued to schools
by official transcript. The cost for each official transcript is $3.00; an
application form will be mailed with the student’s individual grade report, or
may be obtained from the Reception Desk or from the Registrar.
Student work must be claimed within 90 days of the end of the semester.
Instructors will attempt to notify students; the work will be disposed of if
there is no response.
Students may request a grade of Incomplete for their course when they have
been unable to complete course work due to circumstances beyond the
student's control (extended illness, family tragedy, etc.). If you have failed
to properly budget your time or finances or if you have just not done the
work you are ineligible to receive the Incomplete. You will then be assigned
a letter grade based on the work you have completed in class. Students are
also ineligible for an Incomplete due to missed classes. Incompletes are not
to be used to make up missed instructional time. See your copy of the
syllabus for policies regarding make-up work.
If you feel that you must ask for an Incomplete, please do so at least one
week prior to the end of the semester. If your instructor agrees to request
an Incomplete grade for you, he or she can provide an Incomplete Request
Form that you must fill out, sign and date and have your instructor sign and
date. Your instructor must list an official final due date for the project on
the form, and must specify the grade to be issued should the required work
not be completed by the agreed-upon deadline. Normally, all work must be
completed during the first four weeks of the following semester.
The Incomplete is not approved until the Director of Education reviews the
form and signs it. If your Incomplete is not approved, your instructor will
assign a grade based on the work that was done.
Students whose Incomplete requests have been approved will be required to
pay an additional course fee if it is necessary that they access facilities and
equipment in order to complete their projects. An Incomplete Access ID
card will be issued.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 16
WITHDRAWAL AS A FINAL GRADE
(see also Drops, Withdrawals and Schedule Changes)
Students taking classes on a credit basis through a college or university may
withdraw from a course provided they follow the guidelines and policies as
set forth by their individual school.
Non-credit students must request a Withdrawal from the instructor in place
of a standard letter grade. In this case, the student will be considered to have
neither passed nor failed the class. (A grade of W does not allow the student
to move on to the next level.) Withdrawals are allowed at the discretion of
the instructor. Any student who ceases to attend class without requesting the
grade of W will receive a grade of F.
Students may have access to their records at any time by contacting the
Registrar, Kathleen Rebel, at 412-681-5449 ext. 202. Student records
consist of contact information, each semester’s class schedule with grades
and record of payment, any pertinent correspondence or official forms (e.g.
Waiver of Prerequisite), and copies of transcripts or Certificates issued. See
also PRIVACY STATEMENT.
STUDENT CONDUCT POLICIES
Behavior: Students are requested to make every effort to maintain safe and
clean conditions in the building, on the sidewalks and street, and in the
parking lot. Class shoots, both outdoor and indoor, will be monitored by
faculty, but students must also take responsibility for their safety and that of
If any accident occurs involving injury, please contact the Director of
Operations or any staff member immediately. In the event of a minor
incident, for example a spill of food or beverage, please clean it up yourself.
Notify the Equipment Office of any major incidents.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 17
Drug and Alcohol: Pittsburgh Filmmakers specifically prohibits the
possession, sale, distribution, and/or use of illicit drugs or unauthorized or
illegal use or possession of alcohol on the premises (including the parking
Violation of this policy will result in appropriate discipline including
warning, suspension of access, or dismissal.
Our staff can provide confidential information to students regarding agencies
in the community offering rehabilitation therapy and drug and alcohol abuse
Harassment: Pittsburgh Filmmakers does not tolerate any form of
harassment, including verbal, physical, or sexual. Any member of the PF
community who believes he or she is the subject of harassment should report
the situation to the appropriate staff person. Students and faculty members
should speak with the Director of Education. Any incidents reported will be
investigated thoroughly while protecting the privacy of those involved.
Decisions as to disciplinary action will be made accordingly.
Computer use, Student Web-sites, and Internet Access:
Prohibited Activities on PF computers include:
- Uploading or downloading viruses
- Using anyone else’s password or permitting use of one’s own
- Harassment or inappropriate conduct towards others
- Use of computers for illegal, commercial or for-profit, or non-
Student web pages may not include child pornography as defined by the
federal child pornography statute (18 USC sec. 2256), or any form of
harassment or defamation.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 18
Any student with a complaint regarding grades or alleged plagiarism (see
GRADE POLICIES) should first attempt to resolve the matter with their
instructor. If no satisfactory solution is reached, the next step is for the
student to contact the Registrar. Should a student have a conflict with their
instructor, that student should see the Registrar, or the Director of Education.
For a problem regarding facilities or equipment, see the instructor first, full-
time Equipment Office staff, or the Director of Operations (in that order).
In the event of a problem concerning a Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ staff
member, contact the Director of Administration to be directed to the
Any other problems, contact your instructor, your academic advisor if
applicable, or the Registrar.
COUNSELING, ACADEMIC and OTHER
For academic advisement, any student may request a conference with an
instructor. Students accepted into either a Certificate Program or the Point
Park University Film and Video Production major are assigned advisors
from the full-time faculty.
While Pittsburgh Filmmakers does not have a Counseling Office, the
following telephone numbers are listed for your reference. These numbers,
and many others, are found in the “Guide to Human Services” section of the
Verizon White Pages.
Allegheny County Drug & Alcohol: 412-350-3328
Allegheny County Health Department: 412-687-2243
Learning Disabilities Association: 412-341-1515
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Telephone Reference Service: 412-622-3114
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Job & Career Education Center: 412-622-3133
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 19
Center for Victims of Violence and Crime: 866-644-2882
Contact Pittsburgh Inc. 24hour Crisis/Suicide Hotline: 412-820-4357
Gay & Lesbian Community Center: 412-422-0114
United Way Helpline (24 hr.): 412-255-1155
Nutrition Services of UPMC: 412-692-4497
Pittsburgh Action Against Rape: 866-363-7273
Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force Inc.: 412-345-7456
Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors: 412-392-4513
Pittsburgh Psychiatric Society Referral Service: 724-375-5677
Rehabilitation Vocational Office (city of Pittsburgh): 412-392-4950
UPMC Mercy 24hour Evaluation & Referral Center: 412-232-8800
Western Psychiatric Institute: 412-624-1000
YWCA Women’s Counseling Center: 412-255-1162
Occasionally snow emergencies or other weather-related problems could
force Pittsburgh Filmmakers to cancel classes. If weather is bad enough and
you are unsure of whether to come to class or not, please tune in to KDKA
Radio 1020 AM, WTAE Radio 1250 AM, KQV 1410 AM, Variety 96
WVTY FM, WTAE-TV Channel 4, or WPXI-TV Channel 11. We will list
our class closings along with the other school closings. College students
should be aware that even if your school has cancelled classes, that does not
necessarily mean that Pittsburgh Filmmakers has cancelled classes.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 20
TEXTBOOKS AND COURSE PACKETS
All required textbooks and instructor course packets are available in limited
numbers for purchase at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Watch for posted notices
regarding location and hours of text sales.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers will accept payment in the forms of cash, checks,
money orders or credit cards (Visa, MasterCard or Discover).
In addition to textbooks and course packets, an instructor may require or
recommend readings from books placed on reserve in the Pittsburgh
Filmmakers’ library. See below for details on checking out books.
Patron’s guide to the Library
The Pittsburgh Filmmakers Library is an academic library providing a
comprehensive collection developed to support our course work. The library
is also an ideal area to study, pass the time or look for inspiration in a book
of photographs or a DVD collection.
The Pittsburgh Filmmakers Library is located in the back corner of the first
floor, straight back from the administrative entrance and the café.
Head Librarian: Jessica Futrell firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervising Faculty member: John Cantine email@example.com
Hours and Access
Library hours change each semester are posted on our website, in the EQO
Handbook and on the door of the library.
Any day that the equipment office is closed, the library will also be closed.
On days when the equipment office closes before normal library closing
time, the library will close when the Equipment Office closes. Other Library
closings will be posted in advance whenever possible.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 21
Anyone is welcome to use the library materials in house. Students have
access to the library during the semesters that they are enrolled at Pittsburgh
Filmmakers. PF/PCA Access Members in good standing have check-out
access for the length of their memberships. All PF/PCA staff and faculty
have access to the library as long as they are employed by PF/PCA.
The Pittsburgh Filmmakers Library catalogue is available at for searching
Our Library Thing catalog has a search bar at the top right corner of the
screen. Avoid clicking the home tab at that navigates to the home of
LibraryThin.com, not our catalog.
During Library hours you can call for a librarian’s help at 412-681-5449
To search for materials in other libraries use Worldcat.org.
Patron information and patron cards
The first time a student, access member, faculty or staff member uses the
library, they will be issued a Patron card. The patron must sign the back of
their bar-coded card. By signing the card the user agrees to take
responsibility for borrowed materials. This card must be presented any time
the patron borrows library materials. This card will automatically be
renewed when a student re-enrolls or a member renews. If a card is lost a
replacement card may be issued.
Computer, Printing and Copying
There are three Apple iMac computers in the library, which run Firefox and
Safari web browsers. Patrons can use the computers for Internet browsing
and research or for checking email. Computer use is on a first-come, first-
served basis. We ask that patrons consider others and share when on a
computer for personal use such as checking email. The computers are a
public space and should be treated as such. Patrons should not save files to
the libraries computers. The library will be wiped of any stray documents
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 22
regularly. Since the computers are in a public space, the library reserves the
right to deny patrons the right to view or listen to obscene or inappropriate
Patrons can print or photocopy, of $0.10 per black and white page or $0.25
per color page.
The library has a large collection of magazines and journals related to film,
photography and digital media. These are a wonderful resource that can be
used in the library or photocopied (see above).
The library has a viewing station equipped with a video monitor,
headphones, an all-region DVD player and a VHS VCR. Patrons can view
material from the library collection or bring their own material. Students and
access members can only view media from the library collection in-house
while the library is open.
The open stacks contain books and periodicals. Patrons can check out up to
five books for up to two weeks. Photography Collections and textbooks are
automatically on reserve, and cannot be checked out except by faculty and
staff. Because of increased demand, textbooks will only be available to
borrow for up to three days when a second copy is available. Faculty can
also reserve books to guarantee their availability to all their students.
All patrons may borrow up to five pieces of our production media, including
CDs and DVD-ROMs of sound effects, royalty free music, and stock
footage for up to three days. Remember when using our production media to
credit your source in your project. Our royalty free music discs obtained
from Unique Tracks requires both a credit in your project and purchase of
the music right if your project makes money.
DVDs and VHS cassettes are only available to be borrowed by PFPCA
faculty and staff. Other patrons may use these materials in house. DVDs and
VHS cassettes can be borrowed up to one week at a time. Movies can also
be reserved by faculty to secure their availability for class use or to hold for
student viewing in the library.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 23
Circulating materials returned late will be fined a rate of $0.25 per day.
Fines can be paid at any point after being accrued. Any fine exceeding
$15.00 will need to be paid at least in part before borrowing more materials.
Students who have fines or outstanding materials at the end of the semester
may have their grades held until the fines are paid and the material returned.
Writing Tutors and Other Services
Students who need help with academic writing can free find tutoring through
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Library. Students and members are welcome to set a
private appointment with a tutor who can provide assistance with writing
assignments and writing skills. To set an appointment contact Jessica at
firstname.lastname@example.org, using the subject line “writing tutor” and include
time that you are available. Jessica will make arrangements for a tutoring
Our book collection contains writing guides and resources including:
A Short Guide to Writing About Film
Writing from A to Z
A Writer’s Resource and
The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research papers
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus: www.merriam-webster.com
The University of Richmond’s “Writer’s Web” is an extensive guide to
writing including punctuation and editing:
Purdue’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) is a resource for grammar,
punctuation, citation, writing styles and the writing process:
St. Cloud State University provides guides to writing an introduction and
conclusion for your assignment: leo.stcloudstate.edu/
University of Victoria has created a guide to organizing your paper:
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 24
Revision: Cultivating a Critical Eye from Dartmouth College provides an
overview of the revision process:
The University of North Carolina has created a guide to editing and
Not sure how to cite your resources? The University of Wisconsin provides
an abbreviated guide to MLA Documentation:
Teaching Assistants are often available in the library to help during open
labs for the darkrooms and editing suites. Check the Teaching Assistant
board to see if someone is on duty and if they are in the library. Many of our
librarians have production experience and can frequently help with technical
questions. When the librarian does not know an answer they can help find a
book or article that does.
Mailboxes for faculty are located in Room 207 on the second floor. If you
need to leave a message for your instructor, drop off or pick up a project, use
this mailbox. There are wooden shelves for photography portfolios. Student
work must be claimed within 90 days of the end of the semester. Work that is
not picked up will be thrown away.
There are bulletin boards listing events, artist opportunities, job
opportunities, students and services for hire, items to buy/sell/trade, located
across from the In-House equipment office -- check these boards regularly.
You will also see gray bulletin boards scattered throughout the building.
These will hold Seminar Room Schedules and other Education Department-
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 25
Students are eligible to apply to a Certificate Program after completing two
courses at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Other entrance requirements are explained
in the Certificate Program Handbook.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ students may earn a Certificate in Film Production,
Digital Video, or Photography by completing the requirements listed on the
checksheets in the Certificate Program Handbook. Students must take a
minimum of 12 courses at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in order to fulfill the
requirements. These courses may be taken on either a non-credit or credit
If you wish to obtain information and an application for a Certificate
program, please contact the Registrar.
Advanced students wishing to pursue careers in media production are
encouraged to seek internships through Pittsburgh Filmmakers. The program
is designed to give students valuable work experience in their chosen field
outside of the classroom environment. Film and video students have interned
with local production companies, television stations, feature films, and
media artists; photography students have been placed with freelance
photographers, agencies, publications, and curators. Students work with the
Internship Coordinator to find a suitable position before registering for the
Internship course (FLM 298, VID 298, PHT 298 or DIG 298). Interested
students should contact Will Zavala, Internship Coordinator, at ext. 219, or
OUT-OF-HOUSE EQUIPMENT ACCESS
Once a student has registered and paid the tuition and course fees for a class,
he or she will be given access (beginning with the second week of class) to
the equipment necessary to complete the work in that class. During the first
class session a member of the Operations staff will hand out and explain the
Operations Handbook. It is essential that students obtain, read, and keep
the booklet as it explains the procedures and responsibilities that come with
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 26
equipment access. All students will be held to the terms of the
By the second class session student ID cards will be available at the in-house
equipment office. This ID card must be presented when equipment is
checked out and it will not be returned until all equipment has been checked
in satisfactorily. The student must be present during the check-out period to
pick equipment up. A responsible third party may return the equipment at
the specified check-in time, and the Operations staff will hold the student’s
ID card until the student picks it up in person.
Loss of an ID card is a potential security breach!
There is a $5 fee for ID replacement.
Students may reserve equipment in person or by phone up to 2 weeks in
advance. Equipment is usually checked out for up to 48 hours at a time,
though it is possible to receive an extension from the Operations staff.
Please refer to the Operations Handbook for details.
IN-HOUSE EQUIPMENT ACCESS & AFTER HOURS ACCESS
Computers, film projectors, photo darkroom kits, film and video editing
equipment and other specialty items cannot be taken out of the building at
any time. These items are considered in-house equipment. If reservations
are necessary these items can also be reserved up to two weeks in advance,
but often for only several hours at a time. This does not mean that the
student can only work for a few hours at a time, however. For example, a
16mm editing machine can only be reserved for 4 hours a day. If a student
reserves that machine for a 10am - 2pm session, another student can reserve
it for 2pm. If no one has the machine reserved for 2pm, and no one is
waiting to use it, the student can continue working until someone else arrives
to use it. In addition, students may be granted after-hours access privileges.
A student could then reserve equipment beyond closing time (for example,
on a night when PF closes at 9pm, the student could reserve for “6pm to
after hours”) and work as late as necessary. The student must begin working
before closing, at which time the operations staff will sign in all after-hours
workers. When finished the student must sign out, lock up the room or
equipment, and make sure the outside door closes and locks behind him or
her. During after hours no one can leave and re-enter the building, and no
one can let another person into the building, EVEN ANOTHER STUDENT.
This is a serious safety issue and anyone caught breaking these rules will
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 27
lose after-hours privileges, will be fined, and may be denied access to all
Pittsburgh Filmmakers facilities.
Some materials, such as darkroom chemistry and film cement, are provided
through course fee payments by Pittsburgh Filmmakers, but students are
responsible for the majority of film, video, and photography supplies
necessary for a class. Students should be prepared to spend $50-100 for a
Motion Picture Fundamentals course, $200-400 for a Film Production I
course, $300-800 for a Film Production II course; $50-300 for either a Video
Production I or II course; $150-250 for a Black & White Photography I
course, $200-300 for a Black & White Photography II course, and $150-250
for a Color Photography I course. Students who would like to have access to
equipment from previous classes may want to look into Basic Membership –
see the Receptionist.
Student discounts are offered by several film labs. Up to date information
will be given out in class.
Hard-to-find materials, such as film leader and splicing tape, high-grade
video tapes and thumb drives, are sold at the in-house equipment office. A
price list is posted next to the window.
INTERIM EQUIPMENT ACCESS
Access to in-house and out-of-house equipment may be requested during the
interims between semesters by completing a form available from the
Reception Desk or from the Registrar. You must have taken a class during
the semester just ended, and you must be registered for the next semester
coming. You may combine the registration fees with your access fee. Interim
Access covers a) breaks between semesters or b) May/June/July/August
calendar months (1st to 30th/31st). The cost is $25.00 per calendar month
(or any portion thereof) for each type of access requested, or for semester
break regardless of length. It is not permissible to substitute Interim
Access for Incomplete Access.
Lockers are available at the In-house Equipment window on a first-come,
first-served basis. A locker rents for $4.00 per semester, including a padlock.
Because of the high demand, lockers are usually rented by the second week
of the semester. Students wanting to maintain a locker must pay the rental
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 28
fee at the end of each semester. Items left in unpaid lockers are subject to
Pittsburgh Filmmakers does not have a Financial Aid Office. Students
taking courses for college credit can explore financial aid opportunities at
their individual colleges. Pittsburgh Filmmakers recognizes that the media
arts are expensive, and offers the following aids for students:
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Eastman Film Award
Each semester a panel of filmmaking instructors reviews applications from
advanced film students and awards up to 1600’ of 16mm film stock to
deserving projects. Applications are usually available by the third week of
each semester and the deadline for applications is usually close to mid-term.
Eastman Kodak Educational Allowance Program
Pittsburgh Filmmakers students are eligible for a 20% discount on all 16mm
film stocks purchased directly from Eastman Kodak. Discount forms are
available from Brady Lewis or John Cantine, and the form must have the
signature of one of these two faculty members on it in order to be honored
Pittsburgh Filmmakers First Works Grant
Offered once per year in the spring, the Pittsburgh Filmmakers First Works
Grant is designed to assist beginning film and video makers in creating a
polished first work, which can then be used as a sample work to secure
future funding. Through this, we hope to encourage a new generation of
artists with new perspectives on life and art.
Grants may be used to either complete works in progress or to create new
works. Funds will be given directly to the artist and must be spent on the
production of non-commercial independent films or videos. The maximum
individual grant is $1000. The program is funded by Carnegie Mellon
University, Point Park University, the University of Pittsburgh and
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 29
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Emerging Photographers Grant
Offered once per year in the fall, this program awards small grants to allow
photographers to create exhibition-quality works, and is open to any
photography student or artist member at Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
Point Park University provides van service between Point Park and
Pittsburgh Filmmakers during Fall and Winter/Spring semesters. The van
schedule changes each term and is set by the Transportation Office at the
University of Pittsburgh students may take advantage of Pitt's North
Oakland Shuttle service from central Oakland to the corner of Melwood
Avenue and Baum Boulevard. Carnegie Mellon University students may
also use Pitt's shuttle service with valid student ID. Between 7 p.m. and 3
a.m., Pitt's Van Call is available by calling 412-264-1700.
Students may also use the following PATransit buses (PAT information:
412-442-2000 or ridegold.com):
71A Negley -- stops at Centre Ave. & Melwood Ave.
77A Oakmont/77B Frankstown Rd. -- stops at Baum Blvd. & Melwood
77C Shadyside -- stops at Bayard & Neville or Bayard & Craig St.
54C North Side/South Side loop -- stops at Centre Ave. & Melwood
EBO – stops at Neville and Centre Avenue (weekdays only)
The parking lot across the street from Pittsburgh Filmmakers is University
of Pittsburgh lot “PF,” a permit-only lot patrolled by University of
Pittsburgh police. Any Filmmakers’ student may purchase a parking permit
for daytime parking from the Parking Office on the Pitt campus (412-624-
4034). The upper lot is reserved for staff only.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Student Handbook 30
There are usually four student screenings each year. Early in the Fall and
Winter/Spring semesters an open screening is held in which any film or
video made in a Pittsburgh Filmmakers class can be shown. At the end of
each semester, students completing Film Production and Digital Video
Certificates are required to show their thesis films in a public exhibition. All
shows are open to the public and are held in one of Pittsburgh Filmmakers’
Graduating seniors in the Point Park University Fine Art Photography major
as well as students completing Photography Certificates will exhibit their
work in the Melwood Gallery.
The first floor student exhibition space displays photographs produced in
Pittsburgh Filmmakers advanced photography classes. Anyone interested in
exhibiting work can contact Sue Abramson at Ext. 216.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers operates three movie theaters: The Harris Theater on
Liberty Avenue in the Downtown Cultural District, the Regent Square
Theater at 1035 S. Braddock Avenue in Edgewood and the Melwood
Screening Room in the main facility at 477 Melwood Avenue. These
theaters show a continuously changing program of American independent
and foreign films that usually will not be shown anywhere else in the area,
and they represent a valuable resource for film and video students.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers students receive a discount by showing their student
The Melwood Gallery is located in the main facility, outside the Melwood
Screening Room. We exhibit the work of several established fine art
photographers each year as well as occasional shows by photography faculty
and members. Photographic work is also exhibited at The Basement Gallery
under the Harris Theater.